British War Medal 1914 – 1920
This British War Medal 1914 – 1920 was awarded to officers and men of the British and Imperial Forces who either entered a theatre of war (an area of active fighting) or served overseas (perhaps as a garrison soldier) between 5 August 1914 and 11 November 1918 inclusive.
This was later extended to services in Russia, Siberia and some other areas in 1919 and 1920.
The ribbon has a central band of orange edged with white, black and blue lines and although many other medal ribbons symbolise something, it seems that the colour and pattern of the British War Medal ribbon has no special significance.
The recipient’s service number, rank, name and unit were inscribed on the rim of the medal.
The front depicts King George V with a latin inscription about the King, similar to what you would find on coins.
The back shows the dates of the First World War and St. George on horseback trampling underfoot the eagle shield of the central powers (German and Austro-Hungarian Empires), with a skull and cross-bones.
Approximately 6.4 million of these medals were issued, giving some indication of the scale of the First World War.
In addition around 110,000 bronze versions were issued, mainly to members of the Chinese, Maltese, Indian, and South African Native Labour Corps.